Once upon a time there was a woman who had four little girls, all born on the same day. None of the babies liked pacifiers. They used pacis briefly in the hospital, but rarely used them at home. They just weren't interested. Then one day, Mommy made a startling discovery: Three out of her four babies sucked their thumbs. (Why the fourth baby never sucked her thumb is a mystery that will likely never be solved).
Mommy appreciated the fact that her babies self-soothed. She knew they would outgrow their thumb sucking habit before their adult teeth grew in.
Eventually, Mommy took her little girls to the dentist. He complimented Mommy and Daddy on how clean and pretty their little girls' teeth were. He then warned Mommy and Daddy that their adorable little girls will all likely need braces. In fairness, the braces will be necessary because their mouths are crowded, not because they suck their thumbs. BUT.... the thumb sucking isn't helping. It is causing the shape of their mouths to change and effects how their tongue sits in their mouth and, thus, how it touches their teeth.
Mommy tried bribing her thumb suckers with special treats. They didn't care. She tried gently reminding them not to suck their thumbs. It didn't work. Her three thumb suckers would go all day without putting their thumbs in their mouths, but by the time night rolled around, the tired little girls would give up their quest to go thumb free.
One day, Mommy came home from the store with the brightest, prettiest, pinkest nail polish she could find. The deal? No thumb sucking with fingernail polish on. The thumb suckers readily agreed to go cold turkey. The fourth little girl also got to have her fingernails painted. Then bed time rolled around. Two out of the three thumb suckers had picked the polish of their "sucking thumb." The third thumb sucker dissolved in tears. "Take my fingernail polish off," she cried "or the tears will keep coming." After listening to this for awhile, Mommy caved. She removed the polish from the third thumb sucker's thumb. Just the other day, all four little girls asked to have their fingernail polish re-touched. Three of those little girls requested to leave one thumb polish free.
Thumb suckers: 1 Mommy: 0
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